Adyton

 

VI. Serap. “Yes, we are sick, Boethus, sick in ear, and sick in eye. Luxury and softness have accustomed us to think things beautiful as they are more sweet, and call them so. Soon we shall actually be finding fault with the Pythia because she does not speak with a more thrilling voice than Glauce the singing-girl, or use costly ointments, or put on purple robes to go down into the sanctuary, or burn on her censer cassia, mastic, and frankincense, rather than her own barley and bay leaves. Do you not see,” he went on, “what grace the songs of Sappho have, how they charm and soothe the hearers, while the Sibyl ‘with raving mouth,’ as Heraclitus says, ‘utters words with no laughter, no adornment, no perfumes,’ yet makes her voice carry to ten thousand years, because of the God. And Pindar tells us that Cadmus heard from the God ‘right music’, not sweet music, or delicate music, or twittering music. What is passionless and pure gives no admission to pleasure; she was cast out in this very place, together with pain; and the most of her has dribbled away, it seems, into the ears of men.”